Colorado Mountain College: Higher Education in the Rockies


With multiple campuses spread across mountain towns in western Colorado, CMC provides access to over 150 academic programs while being surrounded by stunning natural scenery. From sustainability studies in Leadville to ski resort management in Steamboat Springs, CMC integrates outdoor learning into its curriculum. With strong community ties and partnerships, CMC engages students with the local culture.

The college also offers an intimate campus environment with activities that take advantage of the mountainous landscape. From backcountry skiing to fly fishing, CMC empowers students to pursue their educational goals while enjoying Colorado’s endless outdoor recreation.


  • Colorado Mountain College has over 150 academic programs across multiple mountain town campuses.
  • CMC integrates hands-on outdoor learning into its curriculum to educate students in a natural setting.
  • The college provides an enriching student experience through partnerships, activities, and cultural events.

Overview of Key Attractions

Colorado Mountain College spans 11 mountain town locations with distinct academic specialties and outdoor offerings. The Leadville campus, situated at over 10,000 feet elevation, focuses on sustainability studies and outdoor education. With ample skiing, hiking trails, and mountain biking access, the Steamboat Springs campus integrates resort management and business programs. The Spring Valley campus in Glenwood Springs offers veterinary tech and culinary programs, partnering with local farms and restaurants. At the Vail Valley at Edwards campus, you can study criminal justice and earn certification in different healthcare professions.

Across its campuses, CMC maintains strong commitments to community, sustainability, and celebrating its natural surroundings. The college aims to launch students into rewarding careers while providing access to Colorado’s natural splendor.

Local Experiences and Culture

CMC campuses immerse students in the local mountain culture. In Leadville, CMC partners with the National Mining Hall of Fame to connect mining history with modern sustainability initiatives. Every August, the college sponsors a booth at the Leadville Boom Days festival to engage with residents. In Steamboat Springs, culinary students serve up local dishes like elk stew and Rocky Mountain trout during community events.

CMC also brings cultural experiences into the curriculum through Indigenous Peoples’ Day events that highlight native arts and traditions. Across its campuses, CMC provides authentic interactions with local history, food, music, and crafts.

Academic Excellence

CMC offers over 150 associate and bachelor’s degrees and certification programs spanning a vast range of higher education disciplines and vocational fields. Unique programs in ski resort management, sustainability, and outdoor education blend classroom learning with practical experience.

The Isaacson School for New Media teaches digital skills like coding, analytics, and design thinking. Veterinary tech students assist on local ranches while nursing students train across six hospitals. Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to gain college credit. Across all programs, small class sizes, career counseling, and peer tutoring support student success.

Whether pursuing technical trades, creative arts, or further studies, CMC graduates gain the knowledge and competencies to achieve their goals.

Campus Life

CMC campuses provide an enriching student living experience, from residence halls to dining options. The Leadville campus offers apartment-style housing at over 10,000 feet with access to an indoor climbing wall and hiking trails. Steamboat Springs residences are located alongside the Yampa River with amenities like creative arts spaces. The Spring Valley Campus houses students in the scenic Glenwood Canyon while providing modern amenities like podcasting studios.

Across locations, students can get involved with over 15 sports programs, 30 student clubs, and various cultural events. CMC also partners with the National Forest Service to provide outdoor gear rentals. Whether pursuing mountain adventures or building community on campus, students enrich their education through immersive living experiences.

Outdoor and Experiential Learning

CMC utilizes the outstanding natural environments across its campuses to provide hands-on learning. The college’s outdoor education and sustainability programs incorporate field research projects studying local wildlife, water systems, and forest management practices. Ski business students operate the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to run ski and snowboarding programs. Veterinary technicians assist on nearby cattle ranches and wildlife rehabilitation centers.

CMC also partners with the National Forest Service to maintain trails and educate students on conservation. Students develop practical skills while learning in the wilderness around them and gaining environmental awareness.

Financial Aid and Support Services

CMC offers expanded financial assistance, given its diverse locations and student populations. In addition to standard federal and state aid, CMC provides scholarships specifically for first-generation students and those demonstrating financial need.

Work-study programs award funding in return for campus jobs like peer tutoring, ski patrol, and facilities maintenance. The college also offers flexible online courses, discounted student housing, textbook rentals, and tuition incentives for recent high school graduates. Advising services help students maximize credits for transfer or career advancement.

With inclusive aid options and robust advising, CMC supports students in overcoming barriers to attain their academic and career ambitions.

Community Partnerships

Through local partnerships, CMC supports mountain communities while providing students with practical learning. Culinary students gain experience through partnerships with restaurants like the Pullman in Glenwood Springs. Nursing students complete clinical rotations at six regional hospitals, including St. Anthony’s in Frisco.

Across campuses, CMC sponsors cultural events like film festivals, art walks, and concert series. CMC also contributes to community development goals around environmental sustainability and economic diversity. Whether through workforce training programs, cultural events, or serving on local committees, CMC is integral in helping mountain towns thrive economically and socially while enriching the student experience.

Future Directions

CMC remains committed to evolving its academic programs, support services, and campus infrastructure to empower student success. New initiatives aim to expand access through increased online course offerings, tuition incentives, and scholarships for high-need students. Capital projects include building renewable energy labs, veterans’ centers, and expanded student housing.

CMC also continues developing partnerships with regional employers to align programs with high-demand fields like technology, healthcare, and sustainability. By enhancing academic excellence and support services, CMC prepares students to excel in the future economy while upholding its longstanding leadership in mountain community education.


How do I apply to Colorado Mountain College?

Applying to Colorado Mountain College is easy! Just complete the online application detailing your academic history and program interests. Admissions counselors can also assist with the process and answer any questions.

What types of degrees are offered at CMC?

At CMC, you can enroll in a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree program in fields such as outdoor education, sustainability, ski resort management, culinary arts, social sciences, veterinary technology, various liberal arts, applied science disciplines, computer science, and nursing. The college also has strong partnerships with 4-year universities for transfer degree paths.

Can I attend graduate school at CMC?

No, CMC doesn’t offer graduate degrees, but a bachelor’s degree from CMC will prepare you to study in a graduate school at another higher education institution.

Can I attend CMC as a high school student?

Yes! CMC has concurrent enrollment programs allowing eligible high school students to take college courses and gain credit. This allows students to get a head start on their college education.

Is housing available at CMC campuses?

Three CMC campuses offer student housing in Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, and Leadville. Housing varies but includes options like residence halls, suites, and apartments. Campus housing provides convenient access to classes and activities.

What outdoor recreation opportunities are available through CMC?

CMC campuses are surrounded by outstanding outdoor recreation. Through CMC’s outdoor programs, students can go backcountry skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing, kayaking, and more. The college also partners with the National Forest Service for gear rentals and access to public lands.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.